The Bridge, a lower back saver

Happy Monday, everyone!

It’s the start of a new week in February, which means we are only getting closer to spring! Hang in there!

My bootcamps are coming to a close this week, and I will have to say that everyone has worked their butts off.  I can’t wait for remeasurements and testing day as I know everyone is going to see some massive changes! Great work bootcampers!

The most common area that I see everyone complain about are their low backs. Pain and discomfort are the best descriptors for the area. Why? Well, most of our jobs today are sedentary, so we sit for long periods. On top of that, when most of us feel pain, we refuse to work out.  That’s a BIG ‘No, No’ in my book.  The more you sit, the worse it’ll get. So get up and move around, whether it’s walking up and down the stairs or going for a walk at the mall, you have to MOVE!

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when someone has low back pain? Weak abs. Well, that’s right, but what about your glutes and hip flexors? You have to build the strength in those so your not so much ab dominant in most exercises.  I see that mistake in some professionals as they train clients with low back pain. They only focus on the abs, rather than those smaller muscle fibers that are the KEY ingredients to correcting back pain. You can only do so many planks in one sitting!

Below, are some good goals in alleviating low back pain (Romani-Ruby, 2011):

  • Increase the ROM in hips, especially hip flexion.
  • Improve strength in the gluteals.
  • Improve strength in the Psoas (this is what brings the knee up to 90 degrees).
  • Reduce the dominance of the Rectus Abdominus and shorten the stretch of the external obliques.

Traditional crunches should be OMITTED.  Crunches can cause the upper body to concave in, causing neck pain. Who wants pain on top of more pain? I didn’t see any hands raise….. When you have low back pain, you want to incorporate all the exercises in one functional activity, rather than one each day.  If you want to get rid of the pain fast, and activate those muscle groups, you’re going to have to broaden your activities.  The goal is to do exercises that make your muscles work as a TEAM to contract specific areas of the spine to build power in hip flexion and extension simultaneously.

Below, I posted two great exercises that will increase the glutes, as well as strengthen the psoas. Now the goal for both these exercises are to NOT push the hips up with the balls of your feet. Focus on pushing up through the heels and squeeze those glutes as you go up.

  • Lie on your back with feet flat on floor and heels directly in line with hips. Spine and pelvis should be in a neutral position. Place your arms to sides and lengthen neck.
  • Draw the belly button towards your spine and pull up one vertebra at a time up from floor, starting at tailbone. Hold to rest on shoulder blades, then return to floor, one vertebra at a time.
  • Inhale to prepare, and exhale on movement. Inhale at top, and exhale as you return to starting position.

Single Leg March

  • Lie on your back with feet flat on floor and heels directly in line with hips. Spine and pelvis should be in a neutral position. Place your arms to sides and lengthen neck.
  • Lift one leg at table top position, and draw the belly button towards your spine and pull up one vertebra at a time up from floor, starting at tailbone. Hold to rest on shoulder blades, then return to floor, one vertebra at a time. Be sure to keep spine and pelvis neutral as you lift. Switch legs and repeat.
  • Inhale as you lift leg, and exhale as you bring it back to floor.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s